War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0345 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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must stamp indelible infamy not only on the perpetrators but on their superior, who, having the power to check these outrages on humanity, numerous and well authenticated as they have been, have not yet in a single instance of which I am aware inflicted punishment on the wrong-doers. Since my last communication to you one General McNeil murdered seven prisoners of war in cold blood, and the demand for his punishment has reMained unsatisfied. The Government of the United States, after promising examination and explanation in relation to the charges made against General Benjamin F. Butler, has by its subsequent silence, after repeated efforts on my part to obtain some answer on the subject, not only admitted his guilt but sanctioned it by acquiescence, and I have accordingly branded this criminal as an outlaw, and directed his execution in expiation of his crimes if he should fall into the hands of any of our forces. Recently I have received apparently authentic intelligence of another general by the name of Milroy, who has issued orders in Western Virginia for the payment of money to him by the inhabitants, accompanied by the most savage threats of shooting every recusant, besides burning his house, and threatening similar atrocities against any of our citizens who shall fail to betray their country by giving him prompt notice of the approach of any of our forces, and this subject has also been submitted to the superior military authorities of the United States with but faint hope that they will evince any disapprobation of the act. Humanity shudders at the appalling atrocities which are being daily multiplied under the sanction of those who have obtained temporary possession of power in the United States, and who are fast making its once fair name a byword of reproach among civilized men. Not even the natural indignation inspired by this conduct should make us, however, so unjust as to attribute to the whole mass of the people who are subjected to the despotism that now reigns with unbridled license in the city of Washington a willing acquiescence in its conduct of the war. There must necessarily exist among our enemies very many, perhaps a majority, whose humanity recoils from all participation in such atrocities, but who cannot be held wholly guiltless while peontinuance without an effort at repression.

The public journals of the North have been received, containing a proclamation, dated on the 1st day of the present month, signed by the President of the United States, in which he orders and declares all slaves within ten of the States of the Confederacy to be free, except such as are found within certain districts now occupied in part by the armed forces of the enemy. We may well leave it to the instincts of that common humanity which a beneficent Creator has implanted in the breasts of our fellow men of all countries to pass judgment on a measure by which several millions of human beings of an inferior race, peaceful and contended laborers in their sphere, are doomed to extermination, while at the same time they are encouraged to a general assassination of their masters by the insidious recommendation "to abstain from violence unless in necessary self-defense. " Our own detestation of those who have attempted the most execrable measure recorded in the history of guilty man is tempered by profound contempt for the impotent rage which it discloses. So far as regards the action of this Government on such criminals as may attempt its execution, I confine myself to informing you that I shall, unless in your wisdom you deem some other course more expedient, deliver to the several State authorities all commissioned officers of the United States that may hereafter be captured by our forces in